Thursday, October 4, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 4,2007) – An alarming situation in almost every segment of the Bosnian educational system and a general fragmentation of the state are the two biggest problems in Bosnia. This was stated by the UN Human Rights Council Special Envoy for Educational Rights Vernor Munoz.

Mr. Munoz has been in a visit to Bosnia from September 24. He visited Mostar, Banja Luka, Zenica, Vitez and Prijedor. He had about 40 different meetings with the authority representatives, as well as with the representatives of NGOs, ombudsmen, parents, students and pupils.

He stated at a press conference in Sarajevo that there have been some positive moves in the educational system in Bosnia, but also many negative elements that need to be altered as soon as possible in order for Bosnia to approach the world educational trends.

He added that politicization in Bosnia is one of the worst phenomena present in various segments of education – from the development of curriculum to appointment of officials.

Existence of various curricula creates obstacles for implementation of state laws. That enabled the existence of discrimination in educational sector and segregation of students, the best example being the “two schools under one roof” phenomenon.

That model, according to Munoz, is an unacceptable practice which disables the contact between the pupils and students living in the same town or village. He especially emphasized the intolerance amongst the schoolchildren and teachers as well. That situation also disables the implementation of the Convention of the Rights of Children, signed by Bosnia.

One of the most important challenges for Bosnia is creation of a unified curriculum. That curriculum would contain the key principles of education which would be set as equal at all levels authorities in the country.

Munoz also reacted to the fact that the disabled persons have been left out of many educational opportunities and that the free education principle is more of a formal character.

Commenting the higher education, the UN Special envoy is satisfied with the adoption of the Law on Higher Education, which demands implementation of the Bologna Declaration. He stated, however, that there are many lacks in the quality of the programs at all the universities in Bosnia.

He added that the fact that the higher education curricula are being developed at the state level without any counseling and contacts between the universities is worrying.

Munoz formulated recommendations to the authority representatives at all levels, as well as to the International Community and the donor countries and institutions. Those recommendations are aimed to overcome the problems and obstacles in the Bosnian educational system.

Vernor Munoz will present his report to the UN Council for Human Rights next year.

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